The Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued a consumer advisory warning on certain flavors of Blue Bell ice cream made in Brenham, Texas,. The notice was issued after several confirmed cases of listeriosis in Kansas were linked to Blue Bell’s products.
The Southern ice cream manufacturer has been around since 1907 and produces more than 250 products, 66 which are ice cream flavors. Blue Bell has halted production and distribution of the affected products, and they have been removed from all store and retail outlets. The advisory does not include Blue Bell cups, pints or half gallons.
The following flavors have been affected:
Chocolate Chip Country Cookie
Great Divide Bar
Sour Pop Green Apple Bar
Cotton Candy Bar
Vanilla Stick Slices
No Sugar Added Mooo Bar (regular Mooo Bars not included)
Listeria is a bacteria found in water or soil and in some animals, including cattle and poultry. It often is found in raw milk or foods that contain raw milk. It can grow even in the refrigerator and is destroyed by pasteurization and cooking. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, vomiting and muscle aches and can occur three to 70 days after exposure.
Recent laboratory tests confirmed that at least three of the company’s ice cream products – Country Cookie, Great Divide and Scoops – contained Listeria monocytogenes, which can lead to severe illness if consumed. The company decided to call back additional products because they were created on the same production line.
No Blue Bell-related cases of listeriosis have been confirmed in Texas, though two cases of the infection have been reported this year.
No enforcement action has been taken against the Blue Bell facility, and no violations of food safety handling laws have been discovered.